Book Description

Why am I here? What happens after we die? These are some of the hardest questions a child can ask—and even harder for parents to answer, especially if you’ve chosen to raise your child without religion.

Gathering the perspectives of educators and psychologists, as well as wisdom from everyday parents, Parenting Beyond Belief offers insights and advice on a wide range of topics including:

    • Instilling values
    • Finding meaning and purpose
    • Navigating holidays
    • Coping with loss
    • Finding community without religion…and more

    The second edition of this secular parenting bestseller brings back reflections from such celebrated freethinkers as Richard Dawkins and Julia Sweeney, and adds new voices including journalist Wendy Thomas Russell, essayist Katherine Ozment, sociologist Phil Zuckerman, and many others.

    Wise, entertaining, and deeply supportive, the book will empower parents in their quest to raise ethical, compassionate, and open-minded children—without religion.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half title
  3. Title
  4. Dedication
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Contents
  7. Preface to the Second Edition
  8. Chapter 1 Personal Reflections
    1. Introduction
    2. Navigating Around the Dinner Table
    3. Good and Bad Reasons for Believing
    4. Growing Up Godless: How I Survived Amateur Secular Parenting
    5. Excerpt from Autobiography
    6. Raised Without Religion
    7. Authentic Secular Parenting: Letting Children Choose
    8. My Father’s House
    9. Passing Down the Joy of Not Collecting Stamps
    10. Additional Resources
  9. Chapter 2 Living with Religion
    1. Introduction
    2. Introducing Kids to Things We Don’t Believe
    3. 10 Commandments for Talking to Kids About Religion When You’re Not Religious
    4. When Your Child Is Terrified You’re Going to Hell
    5. Managing Dissonance with Religious Relatives
    6. Parenting Across the Belief Gap
    7. Choosing Your Battles
    8. Secular Schooling
    9. Additional Resources
  10. Chapter 3 Holidays and Celebrations
    1. Introduction
    2. Humanist Ceremonies
    3. Losing the “Holy,” Keeping the “Day”
    4. Point/Counterpoint: The Question of the Claus: Should the Santa Story Stay or Go in Secular Families?
      1. Point: Put the Claus Away
      2. Counterpoint: Santa Claus: The Ultimate Dry Run
    5. Additional Resources
  11. Chapter 4 On Being and Doing Good
    1. Introduction
    2. Raising Ethical Children
    3. Spare the Rod—and Spare Me the Rest
    4. Morality and Evil
    5. Behaving Yourself: Moral Development in the Secular Family
    6. Take Two Tablets and Call Me in the Morning
    7. Double Vision: Teaching Our Twins Pride and Respect
    8. Seven Secular Virtues: Humility, Empathy, Courage, Honesty, Openness, Generosity, and Gratitude
    9. Excerpt from “Morals Without Religion”
    10. Additional Resources
  12. Chapter 5 Death and Consolation
    1. Introduction
    2. Before and After
    3. Helping Your Child Live with Grief without Religion
    4. Where All Roads Lead
    5. The First Really, Really Hard Good-Bye
    6. Small Comforts
    7. Dealing with Death in the Secular Family
    8. Additional Resources
  13. Chapter 6 Wondering and Questioning
    1. Introduction
    2. Little Bessie Would Assist Providence
    3. A Nose Is a Nose Is a Nose
    4. Of Curious Women and Dead Cats
    5. Repurposing Noah’s Ark: How to Inspire Your Kids with the Science of Evolution
    6. We’ve Come a Long Way, Buddy
    7. Teaching Kids to Yawn at Counterfeit Wonder
    8. Parenting and the Arts
    9. Additional Resources
  14. Chapter 7 Community and Identity
    1. Introduction
    2. “What Are We?”
    3. Being Secular, Finding Community
    4. Summer Camp Beyond Belief
    5. Live Better, Help Often, and Wonder More
    6. Additional Resources
  15. Glossary
  16. Notes
  17. Index
  18. Free Sample from Raising Freethinkers by Dale McGowan
  19. About AMACOM
  20. Copyright